If you're a student who receives Pell Grants or is involved with research, you should pay attention during the next two years.
On Nov. 6, the Democratic Party won the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, if results hold, and it made many citizens hopeful for change.
A recent area of controversy is the education system in the United States. With the new shift of power, some students and experts are becoming optimistic about what the future could hold for education policies and legislation.
“The new legislative session represents an opportunity for federal policymakers to enact equality-driven higher education policy,” said Amanda Roberson, assistant director of research and policy at the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Roberson said the institute is hopeful the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, still controlled by Republicans, can compromise and pass legislation that supports success in and access to higher education.
There are several things Congress needs to implement to change the higher education system, Roberson said.
The first is to increase the maximum federal Pell Grant award and to make the process simpler for lower-income students by implementing the Auto Zero estimated family contribution, which would automatically qualify applicants for the maximum federal Pell Grant if they meet certain income criteria.
Roberson said a data network should be implemented to help students make informed college decisions, and people who have been incarcerated should be able to receive the Pell Grant, too.